As predicted Sunday, the Reds added Dilson Herrera to the 40-man roster and activated him today to replace Brandon Dixon, who was sent back to AAA Louisville. 

The Reds acquired Herrera from the New York Mets in the August 2016 Jay Bruce trade. Herrera is 24, two months older than Jose Peraza, and has struggled with shoulder injuries while in the Reds organization. Herrera was once viewed as a top prospect in the Mets system, but injury problems have slowed his development. Because of concerns over his shoulder, Herrera went unclaimed on waivers this year and taken off the Reds 40-man roster. 

Doug Gray wrote here recently how the Reds will need to keep Herrera with the major league team once they call him up. Let’s hope the club can find more playing time for Herrera than they did for Brandon Dixon or Alex Blandino. They need to figure out what Herrera can do. Hard to see them finding that opportunity without a trade creating it.

(Least surprising update ever: Herrera is not in today’s lineup against the Cubs.)

We’ve published various scouting reports on Herrera: Trade Announcement (Nick Kirby), August 2016 (Patrick Jeter), Sept. 2016 (Jeff Gangloff), and March 2017 (Jordan Barhorst).

Steve grew up in Cincinnati as a die-hard fan of Sparky’s Big Red Machine. After 25 years living outside of Ohio, mostly in Ann Arbor, he returned to the Queen City in 2004. He has resumed a first-person love affair with the Cincinnati Reds and is a season ticket holder at Great American Ball Park. The only place to find Steve’s thoughts of more than 140 characters is Redleg Nation. Follow his tweets @spmancuso.

Join the conversation! 49 Comments

  1. not sure this is a good move, where is he going to play.
    Nice numbers at AAA, but he will not replace scooter.
    I guess we need to figure this out.
    Trade scooter, Trade Dilson?

    • They called up Winker when they were going to Tampa so I thought he’d get 3 games in. He started 1 game? They should start Dilson once in Chicago and play all 3 in Cleveland, but they won’t. Riggleman has to get his double-switch on…so there’s that:)

      • OF course he can only play 2B.
        Scooter is still leading the league in hitting.
        Not sure I would want to bench him.
        With his shoulder, not sure he can play in the Outfield currently.

  2. Ask Blandino or Dixon about PT under Riggleman. I know we’re winning but finding time for Herrera seems slim and none. Spot start but more likely part of late game double switch.

    • Blandino and Dixon are not the same caliber of prospect as D. Herrera (former top 100).

  3. Lefty going for the stupid Cubs today.

    Get him going and spot scooter off the bench day one

  4. I have some old school elements still in my new age rationale and they apply to Dilson vs. Scooter. If they generate the same OPS, and same subpar defense (we’ll see… Dilson has to be better right?) I’d prefer Dilson because he’s RH, another RH bat to protect Votto and Winker and presumably Scooter, perhaps in LF.

    • Imagine:

      Winker
      Votto
      Geno
      Scooter
      Senzel (SS)
      Schleber
      Dilson
      Barnhart

      2019. That’s a starting 8 that could have a .400 OBP… as a team!

      • I get the OBP factor with Winker and Votto, but you can’t put the two worst baserunners on the team in the one and two slots. As for personnel, I like your choices.

  5. I wouldn’t expect much out of this move as he only can play 2B/3B: Trade Scooter? Move Suarez to SS and play Herrera at 3B, even though Peraza has been hitting better lately? Otherwise very scarce playing time other than DH in Cleveland, we’ll see.

    • Not sure Dilson can play 3B.
      Does not have the arm after shoulder injuries.

    • Do you really want to have a horrible left side of the infield? Unless Suarez has magically changed his SS game, that’s what you will have. Dilson has no arm for 3rd base, and has less than 100 innings there as well.

  6. this may be a precursor to getting Herrera acclimated to the club in prelude to a trade

  7. This is a weird call-up. Herrera is a legit major leaguer and he absolutely should play regularly. I don’t see the comparison between him and Blandino (very good utility player) or Dixon (having a BABIP-fueled good AAA season but still striking out too much for someone who walks that little).

    As a side thought, if the Reds were to trade Scooter now for a haul and then audition Herrera for 3 months before trading him in the offseason for a good haul and then start 2019 with Senzel at second, the results good be very nice.

    • Love the thought about pooling talent while clearing the deck for Sezel. That would be a great little run of dominos to fall.

    • Weird for sure. But do you also think it weakens our positions to trade in a strange way? So now a team is looking at Scooter thinking ‘well Dilson is out of options so they’ll accept less for Scooter.’ Am I overthinking that? Scooter needs to be playing LF and proving me wrong and increasing his value simultaneously right?

      • I’m honestly not sure how the option thing works. They removed Herrera from the 40-man at the beginning of the year, so I don’t think it’s the same thing. But I’m not sure.

        • Herrera can’t be sent down now (Doug replied to me on Twitter). So something HAS to be working here. Otherwise, this move makes no sense at all.

          • Could it just be as simple as the Reds needing to add a good hitter to a very depleted bench? Scooter is clearly playing in pain and may need more rest to improve, and Herrera may well be a good replacement.

      • I think you might be on to something here. Alex Blandino is nominally the backup to Scooter at 2B, Peraza at SS, and Suarez at 3B. And he only has 33 PA in the last 30 days. It makes no sense to call up Herrera to have him sit on the bench like Blandino has, and it makes even less sense to have him sit on the bench like Dixon did (20 PA in the past 30 days). Heck, he should get more PA than Blandino and Dixon COMBINED.

        This has obviously been in the works since at least Wednesday when the Reds sent Dixon down. So the two subsequent moves that would make the most sense would be either an imminent Scooter trade or a semi-permanent move to the OF for Scooter and to the bench for Duvall/Billy. The Reds lineup today has Scooter at 2B and both Duvall and Hamilton in the OF. My tinfoil hat conspiracy theory is that the Reds are about to trade Winker. With the way this front office operates, I always figured he would be the one most likely to be traded.

  8. How much time is allowed before he has to report to the big league team? Do we know if he is with the team already? And it looks like he would be traveling from Indianapolis to Louisville to Cincinnati to Chicago. Perhaps having a day off isn’t all that bad of an idea, eh?

    Unless Scooter’s shoulder is really bothering him I wouldn’t want him to have two days off in a row with the way he is hitting, would you?

    Patience grrasshoppers, patience.

    • Players have 3 days to report.

      • Thank you. I can’t imagine that he will take the full three days. And here’s a really esoteric question, does the pay bump occur when his contract is selected or when he reports to the team?

        • I’ve got some questions out to Doug. I’m sure he’ll either post the answers here or if he just replies to me, I’ll post them. But Herrera is on the roster now, so I think the pay bump happens now. In any case, he has, by all accounts, been busting his butt to get back on the radar this year, so I wouldn’t be surprised if we was in Chicago before the game is over today.

      • Strange how they are always at the big league club almost immediately but often use their 3 days to report back down when moving in the other direction 😉

  9. I’d be shocked, given the advanced notice nature of this, if Herrera wasn’t available today. That’s the whole point of having a minor league system – to replenish the major league team when needed. Reds (and Herrera) surely knew this a couple days ago and planned accordingly to get him to Chicago for today. Pretty substantial mismanagement if not.

    • Right, I’m not even sure how the idea got started he wouldn’t be. It would be an absolute aberration to not have him with the club right now. Teams release the news the day of all the time. If he wasn’t, it probably would have been addressed in the release as wel… “will join team on XX for whatever reasons…”

    • You are right. Indianapolis to Chicago is much the easier trip and wiser choice. I also think that I spoke much too soon about him not being ready in Chicago by game time.

      I still think having Scooter in the lineup for the first game in Chicago rather than Dilson is the better play.

    • I am sure they told him to catch a flight this morning.
      Probably told him yesterday.

  10. Ranked Atlanta Braves #1 prospect after the 2014 season
    Signed out of Venezuela for $350,000 in 2010, Peraza has emerged as a top prospect over the past three seasons by displaying an incredible feel for the game. He made his U.S. debut in 2012 and ranked as the No. 10 prospect in the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League prior to spending the last five-plus weeks in the Appalachian League. He then stole 64 bases at low Class A Rome in 2013 before busting out as a prospect in 2014, when he stole 60 bases (to rank third in the minors) as he raced to Double-A Mississippi in the second half. Along the way, Peraza started for the World team in the Futures Game in Minneapolis, collecting a single in two at-bats. He helped guide Mississippi to a second-half record of 44-26. Peraza employs speed, quickness and intellect with tremendous instincts for the game, which led to a combined .339 average in 2014, ninth-best in the minors. A spray hitter with a good understanding of the strike zone, Peraza has the handeye coordination to hit all types of pitches but is patient enough to wait for those he can handle and winds up barreling the ball more often than not. He has quick wrists and strong hands that generate a compact swing. He’s tinkered with moving his hands in his stance to give him more of a trigger, because he has below-average power. Peraza keeps the ball on the ground by rarely getting under pitches and uses his plus speed to get on base. He has been timed as fast as 3.9 seconds from home to first base, which is top-of-the-scale speed that makes him one of the fastest players in the minors. Once on base, he creates an instant distraction for pitchers and the defense. He reads pitchers well and has a great first step in stealing bases. He made a seamless move from shortstop to second base in 2014 while displaying steady, soft hands with above-average range and solid arm strength. He is not flashy in the field but makes all of the routine plays and was voted best defensive second baseman by high Class A Carolina League managers. Peraza’s other weakness other than his modest pop is his unwillingness to walk, which may set him back as a future leadoff man. Some scouts questioned Atlanta’s decision to shift Peraza off shortstop to the less-demanding job at second base. With Andrelton Simmons entrenched at shortstop, the Braves gave Peraza a chance to accelerate his timetable by moving him to second, and he seized the opportunity. The organization considered calling up Peraza in August when Simmons was sidelined with an injury, but Peraza was battling a mild groin strain at the time. The Braves traded second baseman Tommy La Stella to the Cubs in November, meaning the musical chairs at that position will end soon in Atlanta. In anticipation of filling the Braves’ longstanding need at second, Peraza will compete with Phil Gosselin in big league camp this spring for the starting job and could wind up bypassing Triple-A Gwinnett with an impressive showing. ~ baseball America

  11. Ranked Los Angeles Dodgers #4 prospect after the 2015 season
    After signing with the Braves out of Venezuela for $350,000 in 2010, Peraza quickly rose through the system, becoming the organization’s top prospect after the 2014 season. Atlanta shipped him to the Dodgers in July 2015 as part of the threeteam deal that sent Hector Olivera to the Braves. Peraza made his big league debut in August but missed most of September with a strained left hamstring. He relies on two tools: hitting and speed. He has a short swing, quick hands and strong wrists, with the hand-eye coordination to put the barrel to the ball at a high rate. Peraza’s double-plus speed makes him a threat to steal 30 bases. He’s a line-drive hitter who can drive the ball to his pull side, but he probably won’t hit many home runs. He swings at too many pitches, hurting his on-base percentage. The Braves shifted Peraza from shortstop to second base in 2014. He has above-average range and an average arm, but a funky throwing stroke. Peraza lacks a high ceiling, but his bat-to-ball skills and wheels should make him a steady player. ~ BA

  12. They might let Herrera play second base all three days in Cleveland, putting Scooter at DH to give his shoulder a break. I think it’s barking.
    Of course, they won’t do that if they’re trying to move Scooter (but I hope they’re not).

  13. I thought that they may recall Ervin, who’s been on fire for a couple of weeks.

    I would think that they plan to play Herrera 2 or 3 games in Cleveland, with Scooter at DH. I am looking forward to seeing him play.

  14. My first thought when I heard this news was “Uh oh, Scooter’s shoulder is worse than they let on. There goes one of the trade chips.”

    Then I saw the lineup and saw Scooter batting 2nd.

    On one hand, I’m glad Scooter is ok, both because he’s a good guy and I don’t wish ill will on anyone, and second because it keeps his possibility as a trade chip open. But on the other hand, I agree with everyone that it’s a very strange callup. Herrera is not a utility player; he needs to be playing every day. Why call him up just to sit on the bench?

    There has to be something going on behind the scenes, right? Or is this just complete managerial incompetence?

    • I hate to say this, but when it comes to the Reds I think it is always safe to err on the side of complete managerial incompetence.

      I mean, I remember when Winker was called up last year and everyone assumed a trade was in the works for one of the OFs. And then they wouldn’t play Winker every day and it had to be because they were trying to keep the value of Duvall/Schebler high so they could trade one by the deadline.
      Then we had the Senzel fiasco where he starts AAA at 2B, moves to 3B for a few games after Suarez gets injured, and then goes back to 2B like nothing happened.

      This is what has had me leery of this little hot streak the Reds are on. Herrera is clearly better than Brandon Dixon and it seems to me a move that is being done just to try and help “win now” at the expense of the future.

      • Well, yes, but Herrera is not a 30-year-old veteran. He’s a young player who has been raking in AAA. Getting a look at him in MLB may be in service to the future.

  15. Either Herrera or Gennet would be good choice for the DH in Cleveland. PA are what I want to see from both, not neccessarially defensive innings.

    • Agree, but i think Scooter would be it.
      Was thinking Lorenzen before

  16. Between the option situation and Herrera’s lack of defensive flexibility it just feels like an odd time to make this move. I really hope it does not signal that Scooter’s shoulder is worse than we have been hearing.

  17. To me the object is to get as many good hitters as you can into your lineup. Trading Scooter defeats that purpose. Senzel will probably be a very good hitter….maybe Dilson too, but I don’t trust the Reds to get a difference maker in the pitching department for Scooter!

    Hamilton for Volquez anyone? Right from the start…Hamilton was one of the most talented baseball players I’d ever seen and they deal him for some guy with 30 ip in mlb or something? I was in a stupor for a month atleast on that one? I think it was because Phillips didn’t like him or was jealous? Do you think Hamilton’s 43 hr/128 rbis in 2012 might’ve helped get by SF? I do!

    How would Scooter look in the Brewers lineup today?

    • Man that Hamilton-Volquez trade is a juicy one to discuss. Volquez has that amazing first year for the reds, Hamilton takes off, and at once you think well both teams crushed this trade.

      Then Edinson couldn’t keep it together. Josh went on a run there for a few years playing at an elite level. Hindsight is 20/20, but Krivsky wasn’t as far off even in hindsight from my POV. Both guys were enigmatic, those are the types that get traded right?

    • Simone for Suarez.

      Latos for Disco

      Strailly for Castillo

    • I am with you. Trading Scooter with the hope that another player can be almost as good (not hardly) is not the way to win.

  18. Just to keep the conspiracy theories rolling, what if the Dilson is coming up to give Scooters shoulder some rest without DLing him. Dilson getting playing time, Scooter gets multiple days on the bench, saving him for trades, and the Reds get the press cover needed to justify it (well we want to see what the rookie’s got)…?

  19. I miss the days of Jack McKeon. His philosophy was that if a guy was pants on fire enough to be brought up, he should play immediately; and with very few exceptions, they did. Maybe only a day or, but play they did before they sat.

    Now days it seems like unless a guy is a platinum plated prospect they have to get in line and wait a turn (Winker was probably about 14K gold) unless they are the next relief pitcher imported for sacrifice.

  20. The Reds missed it with Trader Jack when he went on to win with the Marlins. We now have the days of Jim Riggleman.

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About Steve Mancuso

Steve grew up in Cincinnati as a die-hard fan of Sparky's Big Red Machine. After 25 years living outside of Ohio, mostly in Ann Arbor, he returned to the Queen City in 2004. He has resumed a first-person love affair with the Cincinnati Reds and is a season ticket holder at Great American Ball Park. The only place to find Steve's thoughts of more than 140 characters is Redleg Nation. Follow his tweets @spmancuso.

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2018 Reds

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